Suchitoto is one of the most beautiful destinations in El Salvador. This small colonial town is located on Lake Suchitlán, which provides beautiful views. Every time I visit Suchitoto I fall in love all over again. As soon as you enter this town you feel all the hustle and bustle slipping away, making you unwind completely. You can stroll around the streets for hours, past colored houses and flowers, have a chat with the locals and enjoy the lovely atmosphere. In this article you will find the best things to do in Suchitoto in El Salvador, including tips for activities, tours, waterfalls, hotels and restaurants.
- Welcome to Suchitoto El Salvador
- Things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador – 20 tips!
- Walk through Suchitoto and take lots of pictures
- Enjoy the views at Casa 1800 Suchitoto El Salvador
- Take a boat trip on Lake Suchitlán
- Learn more about Indigo
- Visit the Los Tercios waterfall
- Have a look at Casa Clementina
- Meet Alejandro Cotto – cultural things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador
- Visit the plaza and cathedral of Suchitoto
- Try pupusass
- Mini travel guide Suchitoto El Salvador
- More about El Salvador
Welcome to Suchitoto El Salvador
Suchitoto means in the native language Nahuatl – the place of the flowers and birds – and for good reason. Flowers are everywhere around Suchitoto and Lake Suchitlán is a birds heaven. The town is small and there is a good chance that you regularly encounter the same people. But that’s what makes Suchitoto so special. In Suchitoto people leave their doors open, you ring the doorbell of the locals to have your laundry done and you eat pupusas on the street. Even though Suchitoto is a destination in El Salvador that has been attracting foreign tourists for a long time, you still feel special as a visitor. Mass tourism is unknown to people here and hopefully it will stay that way for a long time.
Things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador – 20 tips!
Walk through Suchitoto and take lots of pictures
In Suchitoto you want to walk around, take pictures, walk around more and take pictures again. The narrow cobbled streets, the colored houses with their countless flowers are so photogenic that your camera is working overtime. Try to enter a restaurant or shop regularly. The world that lurks behind closed doors brings new surprises every time. In addition, many places have a beautiful view of Lake Suchitlán.
Do you only have a short time and want to visit Suchitoto in one day? Here you can book a day trip from San Salvador. You can reach Suchitoto already within 1.5 hours.
Enjoy the views at Casa 1800 Suchitoto El Salvador
One of the best things to do in Suchitoto if you want to take great photos is to visit Casa 1800. This restaurant has been one of Suchitoto’s most visited places for many years, due to its location at the Lago de Suchitlán. From the platform with a chair, which became world famous in El Salvador through social media, you can take the most beautiful photos. Casa 1800 is also a nice hotel, more about this at the bottom of this article.
Take a boat trip on Lake Suchitlán
Lake Suchitlán is one of the largest lakes in El Salvador with 135 km2. It was artificially created in 1976 along with the construction of the Cerrón Grande Dam, which was to provide electricity to the area. Today Lake Suchitlán is an important reserve for fish and birds. Especially early in the morning and at the end of the afternoon, when it is not so hot, numerous birds can be seen here. It is said that more than 70 different birds settle here every year.
One of the best things to do in Suchitoto around sunset is to take a boat trip on the lake. The sky becomes truly magical. In the harbor – Puerto Turistico San Juan – it is easy to find a skipper and rent a boat. Tip: Buy some drinks at the harbor and take them with you during the trip.
Learn more about Indigo
One of the typical things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador is to learn about Indigo, a dye that is widely used in jeans. Have a look at Arte Iñil, a lovely shop with handmade products made with Indigo. Owner Irma and team still work with the material in a traditional way. During a workshop you can also learn the process yourself and make your own scarf or blanket. Natural materials are dipped several times in an indigo dye bath, which creates interesting colors and patterns.
Natural indigo is extracted from the plant species Indiofera and is also known in El Salvador as the blue gold. The dye was already used in pre-Columbian times by indigenous people. But disappeared with the arrival of the Spaniards: The blue gold was sold on a large scale and production gradually came to a standstill.
At the moment there are two places in El Salvador where the dye is naturally produced again. Irma buys the Indigo powder and makes her own designs in Suchitoto to put Indigo back on the map in El Salvador. Countries such as India, China and Japan also work a lot with indigo, but nowadays the majority is mainly produced synthetically.
Visit the Los Tercios waterfall
One of the things to do in Suchitoto if you have more time it to visit the Los Tercios waterfall. This 13-meter high waterfall is known for its special rock formation. During the rainy season, the waterfall is more impressive because of the amount of water, but in the dry season you can see the formation very well. The waterfall is about a 20-minute drive from Suchitoto. Bring your bathing suit, as it is nice to cool off in one of the nearby pools.
Have a look at Casa Clementina
Casa Clementina is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of children and young people through art, film and video. Walk in, have a look at the exhibitions and don’t forge to have drink on the terrace overlooking the lake. On Saturday evenings there is an open-air cinema. Recommended! Just make sure to have a look at the opening times, because at the moment (2023) Casa Clementina is only open on weekends.
Meet Alejandro Cotto – cultural things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador
One of Suchitoto’s most famous residents was Alejandro Cotto (1928 – 2015) – a filmmaker, writer and poet, who played an important role in the town’s culture. There is obviously a big chance that you’ve never heard of this artist. Nevertheless, it is interesting to walk around his former home, which briefly takes you through his life and career. But the real reason to visit this place is for its garden and fantastic lakeside setting. The views over Lake Suchitlán are truly nice.
Alejandro Cotto’s work include movies such as Festival in Suchitoto (1950) and Sinfonía de Mi Pueblo (1951). Other films and documentaries are El Carretón de Sueños (1973), Camino de Esperanza (1959) and El Rostro (1961).
Visit the plaza and cathedral of Suchitoto
If you are in Suchitoto, you will end up in the plaza several times. There are different market stalls on this little square, but it is the white church that immediately catches the eye. The Iglesia de Santa Lucia was built in 1853 and one of the first Republican churches in the country. One of the best things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador if you want to take nice photos.
Moreover, the church is beautifully lit in different colors at night.
Everywhere in Suchitoto you will find pupuserias and stalls on the streets that prepare pupusas right in front of your eyes. The pupusa can call itself the national dish of El Salvador and I love it. A pupusa is a type of flatbread, made with cornmeal or rice flour. It is filled with ingredients that you choose yourself, such as cheese, beans, chicken, meat, loroco, pumpkin and much more. And you eat it together with curtido (a fermented coleslaw), sauce and of course with your hands.
I participated in a small pupusa workshop at Mi Casita, a nice local place with great pupusas. But you will see: with pupusas in Suchitoto, little can go wrong.
In El Salvador, the pupusa has been declared a national dish and there is even a national pupusa day. This takes place on the second Sunday in November.
Mini travel guide Suchitoto El Salvador
Restaurant tips for Suchitoto El Salvador
In Suchitoto you will find a few restaurants and many local eateries, including the popular pupuserias. These are my tips for restaurants in Suchitoto in El Salvador.
- Casa de la Abuela is the best place for coffee and cake. Inside it is nicely decorated, but it is recommended to sit outside on the terrace and observe daily life on the plaza. In the adjacent shop there are nice souvenirs.
- For good food and the most beautiful view you have to eat at Casa 1800.
- At Harlequin you can sit both inside and outside and enjoy delicious dishes.
- Fonda el Mirador has a diverse menu, consisting of pastas, salads, meat, chicken or fish. And, you look out over the Suchitlán lake.
- For pupusas, go to Mi Casita or eat at one of the local stalls on the street.
Tips for hotels in Suchitoto El Salvador
Suchitoto in El Salvador mainly has small-scale hotels and they are all so pretty. I love to stay in boutique hotels with a nice atmosphere, design, lovely setting and good service. Here are some of my favorite hotels in Suchitoto El Salvador, where I personally stayed. All hotels are centrally located so that you can easily explore the many things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador.
Casa 1800 Suchitoto
One of the nicest hotels in Suchitoto is Casa 1800 El Salvador. Both the rooms and the restaurant are set in a large tropical garden with flowers, squirrels and butterflies. The highlight is the panoramic view of the lake, where there are so many birds to observe.
All rooms are located in the main building, which consists of two floors. The rooms are spacious and stylishly furnished with wonderfully soft beds. Casa 1800 is a boutique hotel with a small-scale character and good service.
Check out the current prices and availability at Casa 1800 Suchitoto here
Los Almendros de San Lorenzo
Another nice hotel in Suchitoto in El Salvador is Los Almendros de San Lorenzo,which consists of a number of colonial buildings, two large courtyards with greenery, flowers and lizards running past you. The rooms are spacious with high ceilings, comfortable beds and a large bathroom. In the swimming pool you can cool off from warm Suchitoto. There is also a bar and a restaurant, but one of the best thing to do in this hotel in Suchitoto El Salvador is to find a spot in the garden and have a drink here. In the evening everything is idyllically lit.
Check out the current prices and availability at Los Almendros de San Lorenzo here.
Looking for more hotels in Suchitoto El Salvador? This is a comprehensive overview.
Best time to visit Suchitoto El Salvador
Suchitoto can be visited all year round. Most rain falls in the months of May, June, August, September and October. The dry period runs from November to April, but it can be very hot then.
How to reach Suchitoto in El Salvador
Suchitoto is about 1.5-hours drive from San Salvador. You can rent a car in San Salvador and drive there yourself. Download google maps or waze and follow the route. In Suchitoto itself you will not need the car because all the things to do are within walking distance. You can easily park everywhere in Suchitoto. Do you want to visit the waterfall Los Tercios? Then it is recommended to go by car.
Do you want to visit Suchitoto in a day? Here you can book a day trip from San Salvador.
Need a rental car for your trip to El Salvador? Use Rental Cars to search and compare your car rental options. A quick and easy tool and no need to have up multiple tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. They also have great discounts and cancellation policies.
Tours in Suchitoto
Looking for tours and things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador? This is an overview with tips for tours:
El Salvador is a hidden gem with beautiful beaches, shimmering lakes, volcanoes you can climb, national parks and pretty colonial villages. In the next article you will find the best things to do in El Salvador, including tips for hotels and culinary and cultural experiences
More hotels in El Salvador
In every country I look out for the most beautiful and unique place to stay. Interior design, a nice atmosphere, a lovely setting and good service are important topics for me, when choosing a hotel. In addition, I like to support the locals and love a sustainable approach around a hotel. Are you curious about boutique hotels in El Salvador? In the next article you will find an overview of my favorite hotels in El Salvador.
More about El Salvador
Did you enjoy reading this article with tips and things to do in Suchitoto El Salvador? El Salvador is a small country in Central America with so much to offer. Let me take you on a journey along the most beautiful destinations and things to do in El Salvador. In the next article you will find my El Salvador travel guides with lots of inspiration and tips.
- Best things to do in El Salvador
- El Salvador itinerary
- Things to do in San Salvador – a comprehensive travel guide
- Santa Ana city guide
- Conchagua volcano – everything you want to know
- Ruta de las Flores – everything you want to know
- Boutique hotels in El Salvador
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